Avoid clipping these places when body clipping your horse


Clip for comfort and health, not for looks.


  • Traditional bid, hunter, blanket, trace, and full body clips are great places to start creating a pattern – but each horse will be different in terms of how much they sweat and where they sweat. You have total creative license to take any pattern and tailor it to your horse’s needs.


  • I am a stickler, however, in leaving patches of hair in certain places regardless of the clipping pattern if needed. A full body clip for my horse still means leaving ears, elbows, and a few other select places fully fuzzy.


gray horse clipped with saddle pad remaining


Avoid clipping these places:


  • Ears. If your horse is showing and lives in a warmer climate, you might consider clipping them. But frostbite can happen. And ears are just plain tricky to reach and work with! And also fuzzy ears are adorable.


  • Spur areas. You will likely see these on horses that are clipped for show, or on horses with sensitive skin that rubs easily.



fuzzy spur patch on a clipped horse


  • Shoulder points. A common place for blanket rubs, and when they are clipped, the rubs can more likely turn into sores. Pro Tip – body glide for hikers and runners is great to use in these areas for rub prevention!


  • Elbows. Horses with a tendency to get shoe boils or callouses on their elbows can benefit from a hairy patch there.


fuzzy elbows on a clipped horse

I leave any calloused areas covered with some fuzz, like these elbows.


  • Sheaths and Udders. One, they are just hard to reach. Two, I think it’s just nice to give those areas some winter protection.


  • Crown pieces. Horses with the tendency to have tack rubs might want to keep a fuzzy poll area and crown piece area. You could even pop the bridle on and draw the outline so you know where to stop clipping.


  • Girth area. For the horse that gets girth sores, you may leave the hair as protection. But, if there is too much hair, sweat and irritation could increase the chance of a girth sore. Time to experiment!


horse with a half face clip

The bridle covers the clipped and unclipped transition area.


  • Some faces. If a horse has a dark coat and dark skin, I might might might consider clipping the full face. It’s likely climate-dependent. But for any horse that has a light coat and pink skin, I leave the face or do a half face. Sunburn can still happen, even in cold temps!


Just clip what you need to clip and leave the hair that you need to leave.


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